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07 December 2017, 09:13 | Melissa Porter
EU creates blacklist of 17 'tax haven' countries
According to the Independent UK, Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs on Tuesday said the adoption of the first-ever European Union blacklist of tax havens marks a key a key victory for transparency and fairness, but noted that the process does not stop here.
Is this enough? It seems that even today, some member states such as France, think that jurisdictions should also face some form of sanction.
The EU blacklist list includes 17 countries: American Samoa, Bahrain, Barbados, Grenada, Guam, Korea (Republic of), Macau, the Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, Panama, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates.
Panama's president, Juan Carlos Varela, objected to his country being on the list, saying it is making progress against tax evasion.
The list was made on the basis of three main components: tax transparency, fair tax competition and implementation of Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS), which is a way of battling tax avoidance created by the OECD.
The EU will continue to monitor and, if needed, update the blacklist of tax havens, it said.
The Council said countries may adopt further measures at their discretion, like non-deductibility of costs, controlled foreign company (CFC) rules, withholding tax measures, limitations on the participation exemption, a switch-over rule, a reversal of the burden of proof, special documentation requirements, or provisions requiring mandatory disclosure by tax intermediaries of specific tax schemes with respect to cross-border arrangements.
The clock is counting down: Now that tax reform bills have made their way through the House and Senate, Republicans in both chambers are working to iron out the differences between the two bills - with a goal of overhauling the U.S. tax system by December 22.
"If countries will be implementing them they won't be part of the tax list, if we see that countries are not implementing the commitments there is the possibility that they end up on this tax list", added Dombrovskis.
The EU has struggled for more than a year to finalise the list, with smaller, low-tax EU nations such as Ireland, Malta and Luxembourg anxious that it may scare off multinationals. "If we want to fight tax avoidance credibly on a global stage, we must also put our own house in order", said socialist legislator Peter Simon.
This country was also named in the Panama Papers past year. That means they promote unfair tax practices, or don't share important financial information with the EU.
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